Horizontal and vertical circulation patterns over the Qinghai-Xizang (Tibet) plateau during summer, derived from meteorological observations, are compared with results from rotating annulus experiments. There are several striking features during the season when the plateau acts as a huge elevated heat source: 1) a heat low dominates the planetary boundary layer over the plateau; 2) this heat low is broken up into several cells, giving rise to shear-line development; 3) surrounding the heat low is an anticyclonic belt; 4) the northern and southern portions of this belt approach each other as one proceeds into the upper troposphere and finally merge into a large anticyclone over the plateau; and 5) significant circulation cells appear in meridional and zonal cross sections, attesting to the strong influence of the plateau on the general circulation of the atmosphere.

This content is only available as a PDF.


1Prof. Ye Duzheng (Tu-cheng Yeh) studied at the University of Chicago after World War II and received a Ph.D. degree from that university. He is now Director of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Academia Sinica; President of the Chinese Meteorological Society; Deputy to the National People's Congress; and Vice-Chairman of the Working Group on Atmospheric Science under the Committee on Science and Technology (the Chairman of that committee is Vice-Premier Feng Yi). In spite of all these official duties Prof. Yeh maintains a very active involvement in many research projects, ranging from numerical and geophysical modeling to objective long-range forecasting. (Comments by E. R. Reiter.)